Hawaii County said Pohoiki Beach Park will reopen to the public as a family park on Dec. 6 following a 1 p.m. blessing ceremony. The public is invited to attend.
The popular park, officially called Isaac Hale Beach Park, had been closed at least six months due to the Kilauea eruption, as lava flows blocked off access and created a new black sand beach around the Pohoiki boat ramp.
“This new park created is dedicated as a safe and peaceful place for our families,” said the county Department of Parks and Recreation in a news release. “Please kokua to keep it a nice and safe place for the ohana.”
At noon, an emergency access road to the Pohoiki area located on Highway 137 near MacKenzie State Park will open, offering access. Drivers should use caution while driving on the emergency access road, which will remain open until further notice.
While the lava flow created four natural ocean thermal ponds, the state Health Department warns the public that they carry a risk of bacterial infections for those with open wounds. The new black sand beach also has a dangerous shore break and strong ocean currents.
In September, state officials examining the popular Pohoiki Boat Ramp said it showed no damage and could possibly be used again, but had no set date for its reopening.
Lava damaged county water lines to the park, so no water source is available, but portable toilets will be available for public use. Park visitors are encouraged to bring their own drinking water. No camping is allowed until further notice.
County officials said the new park hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and that there will be security present 24 hours.